While twice-daily brushing is crucial for good oral health, brushing only removes 60% of plaque and bacteria. Interdental cleaning, like flossing, removes the remaining 40% of debris from areas your brush can’t reach.
Interdental cleaning is the process of cleaning the spaces between your teeth. Regular interdental cleaning can help to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. It is also important in maintaining dental implants and other dental prosthetics.
What is Interdental Cleaning?
Interdental cleaning removes plaque and tartar from teeth that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. There are a variety of interdental cleaning aids available, including floss, toothpicks, water jets, and interdental brushes.
Many people find that using a combination of these products is the most effective way to clean their teeth. Interdental cleaning is important in maintaining good oral health and helps keep your teeth looking clean and healthy.
How Does Interdental Cleaning Help with Oral Health?
Interdental cleaning is important for oral health because it helps to clean plaque and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, saliva, and bacteria that forms on the teeth. If it is not removed, it can harden into calculus or tartar.
Bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. Left untreated, it can eventually lead to periodontitis, a severe infection of the tissues around the teeth. Interdental cleaning helps to remove bacteria before they damage the teeth and gums. It can also help freshen your breath by removing food particles and bacteria from between the teeth.
Many people are unsure about how to clean their teeth properly. Here are some frequently asked questions about interdental cleaning:
When Should I Brush and Floss My Teeth?
It’s best to brush after every meal, but if that’s not possible, brush at least twice a day. Clean your teeth in the morning after breakfast and in the evening before bed to remove food debris and bacteria.However, you should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing and flossing if you have consumed acidic foods or beverages. This gives your body time to remineralize your teeth, preventing enamel erosion.
Should I Floss Before or After I Brush?
It doesn’t matter which order you do them in, as long as you do both. Brushing and flossing are both necessary for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. However, some research suggests flossing before brushing is more beneficial for oral health. Removing plaque, food, and bacteria from the gum line and between teeth allows for better fluoride retention when brushing.
Can I Reuse Dental Floss?
Disposable floss is designed to be used once and then thrown away, so it should not be reused. Reusable floss is typically made from medical-grade silicone. It can be used multiple times, but it may harbor bacteria that could lead to infections, so it is important to clean reusable floss after each use and to replace it regularly.
Visit Steger Smiles for an Exam and Cleaning
In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, it is vital to visit your dentist twice annually for a check-up and professional cleaning. During your appointment, your dentist will assess your teeth and gum health and check for signs of gum disease and tooth decay. They can also remove build-up plaque and show you how to floss or use an interdental brush correctly for more effective oral hygiene.